Don’t get us wrong, we love what we do, but as busy mums working from home it can sometimes be a challenge fitting our work in around our families – what with school and nursery runs, cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking meals, making pack ups, washing and ironing etc we could always do with a few more hours in the day!
That is why school holidays can be a bit a double edged sword. Yes, like everyone, we relish not having to get up at 6.30 to make sure everyone is out the door in time for school. And being able to stay in your PJs until 10 is divine. We love having this special time with our boys, going on new adventures every day – and because you have kids, having the God given right, to run around like crazy and pretend to be a sword wielding pirate! But… (you knew it was coming) as mums who run their business from home, we know school holidays also mean that fitting in work is even harder!
So in school holidays we become ninjas – sneaking out the room to type a quick email whilst the boys are eating their breakfast, or going to the toilet and stealthily sneaking my iPhone up my sleeve to look at my Emails and Twitter (this one always buys you time, as when you hear them yell ‘muuuuuum‘, you can just call back ‘I’m in the toilet’ and the boys will saunter off and give you another 5 minutes peace before knocking on the door again).
Then there is the Wear Them Out tactic! This is where you take the boys out for a few hours doing something energetic like swimming, which you know will tire them out. This will then result in them coming home at about 2pm/3pm and be very happy to slump on the sofa watching a movie together until dinner time. This means you can feel like a virtuous mum as your children have had loads of exercise and spent quality time with you, but you can now do some work on the iPad, guilt free, whilst they sit snuggled next to you happily watching their film – happy days.
We admit it – during school holidays iPads and iPhones are our saving grace. Because it means whether you are out at a museum, or roller skating at your local leisure park, you can spend precious time with your boys, as well as keeping an eye on your phone to see if there are any of those little red numbers next to your Yahoo, Facebook or Twitter apps (and also post a sneaky Tweet or two!)
This makes us feel safe in the knowledge that we can keep up to date with anything urgent that needs dealing with, without feeling all jittery about getting home to check our emails!
During holidays it just means taking every opportunity you can to catch up on a bit of work, without it affecting the fun times you have with your children! It means I can spend 2 hours running around the woods on a dinosaur adventure, whole heartedly enjoying every minute, but when the boys are later carrying out ‘who is the best monkey’ contests on the climbing frame, that I can whip my iPad/iPhone out and happily do 20 minutes of work, with the boys being totally oblivious to whether I am there or not!
You just have to remember to be balanced.
Yes I might be up working far later into the evening (or night) than normal during the holidays – or waking up and writing notes on my iPhone at 3am, but I know I can stay in bed until 8am instead of getting up at the crack of dawn.
So next time you are out and about and you see a mum sneakily whipping her phone out whilst her children are busy playing 20 meters away, please don’t judge her. It does not necessarily mean that she is not interested in her children and is busy texting her mates – she may just be a mum who works from home and is doing her best to juggle being the best mum she can be and spending quality time with her children, whilst still trying to run her business.